Byron Smith Jury Told to Prepare for Lengthy Deliberations
LITTLE FALLS — The trial of a Little Falls homeowner who killed two teens during a break-in has been given to the jury after the man’s attorney argued the teens would be alive if they hadn’t chosen to commit a burglary.
Byron Smith’s attorney, Steve Meshbesher, says the teens didn’t deserve to die. But he says the 65-year-old was afraid for his own life.
Prosecutors earlier Tuesday said Smith set up his basement as if he was in a deer stand and the teens were the deer.
Jurors will discuss the case for as long as it takes to reach a verdict. Judge Douglas Anderson has instructed them to bring a change of clothes in case deliberations spill over into the next day. If a verdict is not reached by the end of the day, jurors will be put up in a local hotel and resume talks Wednesday. They’ll repeat the procedure until there is a verdict in the case or it’s determined they are deadlocked, at which time Judge Anderson could rule they have a hung jury.
When a verdict is reached, lawyers, family members and Smith himself return to the courtroom for the verdict to be read aloud.
There will be a news conference following the verdict and jurors will be made available to the media at that time.
Smith is charged with two counts of first degree premeditated murder and two counts of second degree murder in the shooting deaths of 18-year-old Haile Kifer and 17-year-old Nick Brady after the teens broke into his Little Falls home on Thanksgiving Day 2012.